It’s the oldest joke about the American conservative movement: “What do you call the one black guy at CPAC? The keynote speaker.” Every year, the Conservative Political Action Conference (sponsored by the American Conservative Union) tries to show it is not racist by propping up token non-whites to speak about “leaving the Democrat plantation” to vote Republican. Every year, CPAC bans race realists even from the audience, presumably so reporters won’t call the conference “racist.” Every year, liberal reporters go to CPAC, take pictures of eccentric people, and write insulting articles anyway. CPAC never learns.
This year, the farce is especially rich. CPAC’s 2021 theme is “America Uncancelled.” “So You’ve Been De-Platformed. What Now?” asks one panel. There’s another called “The Left’s Assault on a Free People: How Government, Big Tech, and Media Are Colluding to Deprive Us of Our Humanity.” Senator Ted Cruz will talk about “cancel culture.”
In my view, “cancel culture” is not criticizing, primarying, or voting against politicians. It is when powerful institutions fire or deny services or platforms to people, often because a vocal minority demands it. Antifa often take credit for “cancellations” but their efforts would mean nothing if they were not publicized. Journalists are therefore the true commissars of cancel culture. Anything they ignore has no impact.
Republicans, especially Trump supporters, understand the problem. A recent poll from Echelon Insights found that GOP voters thought “liberal bias in the mainstream media” was one of the country’s most important problems. Seventy-five percent of Republicans were “extremely” or “very” concerned about it; Donald Trump voters even more so.
If a politician or activist group wants to win the Republican base, the best course is to defy the media. We’ll see if CPAC’s sponsors and organizers have learned their lesson. I expect not. Antifa-supporting journalists will soon be boasting about getting CPAC media credentials.
However, CPAC has a deeper problem than naiveté about the media. Conservatives won’t talk about race. I have been in meetings in which sponsors debated the CPAC agenda. Once, I asked about putting on a panel on immigration, demographics, and the Republican Party’s future. This somehow became a panel on how Republicans can win the Hispanic vote. Defending white interests or opposing the great replacement are unthinkable to movement conservatives.
It truly bothers conservatives that their supporters are mostly white. At the same time, they are patronizing to non-white conservatives, and “outreach” often makes things worse. Race realists don’t tip-toe around race. We understand that race doesn’t entirely define a person, but we know that racial consciousness is part of everyone’s identity. This makes it easier to get along with non-whites, including non-white conservatives. We don’t talk to non-whites as if they were small pets.
Movement conservatives hate white consciousness, but fall all over themselves pandering to non-white conservatives. They support them because they aren’t white, and the condescension bleeds through. They claim to oppose identity politics but practice it in the most ineffective way possible. Pardoning rappers or reminding people about Southern Democrats in the 1860s isn’t going to win black voters. It probably offends many of them.
The conservative movement promotes blacks such as Mia Love, Tim Scott, or J.C. Watts far more than their accomplishments would merit. This looks phony and it backfires when onetime Republican leaders such as former GOP chairman Michael Steele or General Colin Powell later criticize the party for not doing enough for blacks.
Blacks don’t need whites’ permission to “leave the Democratic plantation,” or slick videos about blacks praising capitalism. Blacks, like whites, mostly vote for whomever represents their interests. The Democrats offer blacks affirmative action, more government spending, and incessant coddling. GOP support for “limited government” can hardly compete. Blacks aren’t acting illogically by voting for Democrats. If anything, whites are acting illogically by letting Republicans take us for granted.
Race realists would probably be better at winning non-white voters than Republican strategists. We would at least avoid disasters because we don’t lie to ourselves about what blacks believe. Many blacks distrust scientific experts, support racial nationalists like Louis Farrakhan, and have no special love for Israel. Half of them have a positive view of the Nation of Islam. Many blacks also believe fantastic conspiracy theories that make QAnon seem sober and realistic.
CPAC organizers probably don’t know this. Thus, in their desperation to find black speakers, they invited Marshall Daniels, aka Pharaoh Aten, aka “Young Pharaoh.” CPAC put him on the program as a “Philosopher, Scholar, Musician.” Why invite Young Pharaoh? I suspect it was because he has spoken about why the Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan. He also sued Alphabet (Google) for violating his right free speech. Young Pharaoh considers himself a teacher, and has an online quasi-university.